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  1. WCF Tips & Tricks[a selection] from the field Christian Weyer Solution Architect thinktecture christian.weyer@thinktecture.com

  2. and Christian Weyer • Support & consulting for Windows and .NET software developers and architects • Developer coaching and mentoring • Architecture consulting and prototyping • Architecture and code reviews • Applicationoptimization, troubleshooting, debugging • Focus on distributed applications, service orientation, workflows, cloud computing, interoperability, security, end-to-end solutions • Windows Server, WCF, WF, MSMQ, Azure Services, Windows Azure • http://www.thinktecture.com • christian.weyer@thinktecture.com

  3. For starters: Super-duper TIP • WCF is not just Web Services ! • WCF is not always about SOA ! • WCF does not stand for • Web Services Consumption Foundation • Windows Cool-SOA Foundation • It is the Windows CommunicationFoundation!

  4. Agenda – Dealing with... • Consuming • Hosting • Bindings • Quotas & throttles • WSDL • Performance & throughput • Large data • Tracing Problems Solutions/Tips  Samples

  5. Not covered, some... • Contract modelling • REST • Security • Asynchronous processing • Fault handling • Deep extensibility • WF integration • NATs & firewalls • ... and surely more ...

  6. Consuming – Problems • Do I always need to create a proxy class from WSDL/MEX? • How can I make consuming services more robust? • Is there a way to improve performance when calling services?

  7. Consuming – Solutions I • For non-interop no need to use svcutil.exe or ‘Add Service Reference’ • shared contracts approach works good in WCF-to-WCF scenarios • ChannelFactory<T> and DuplexChannelFactory<T> are powerful means • use custom interface extending service contract & IClientChannel • Avoid using statement when dealing with proxies (ICommunicationObject-derived objects) • can still throw at end of using block, e.g. for network errors • explicit exception handling; can be dealt withe.g. in extension method

  8. Consuming – Solutions II • Try to cache proxy or ChannelFactory in high-throughput applications • creating them can mean significant overhead • ASP.NET client applications should not create ChannelFactory on each page call

  9. Consuming – Samples Client side interface IMyContractChannel : IMyContract, System.ServiceModel.IClientChannel {} ChannelFactory<IMyContractChannel> cf = new ChannelFactory<IMyContractChannel>(binding, address); IMyContractChannel client = cf.CreateChannel(); client.DoIt(…); client.Close(); try { … client.Close(); } catch (CommunicationException e) { … client.Abort(); } catch (TimeoutException e) { … client.Abort(); } catch (Exception e) { … client.Abort(); throw; } Client side Client side IMyContractChannelchannel = ChannelFactoryManager<IMyContractChannel> .GetChannel("BasicHttpBinding"); Client side

  10. Hosting - Problems • Which host to use? IIS/WAS or a self-host? • How do I inject logic in IIS/WAS hosting?

  11. Hosting – Solutions • Use IIS/WAS for robust, highly scalable services • beware of the process & AppDomain lifecycle features • when using non-HTTP (TCP, Named Pipes, MSMQ) with WAS hosting AppDomain recycling still comes into your way • Use self-hosting in Windows Service to have full control and light-weight hosting environment • Custom ServiceHost & ServiceHostFactory implementations to provide custom initialization code • hook up factory in .svc file for IIS/WAS

  12. Hosting – Samples class MyServiceHost : System.ServiceModel.ServiceHost { public MyServiceHost(Type serviceType, params Uri[] baseAddresses) : base(serviceType, baseAddresses) { ... } protected override void ApplyConfiguration() { ... } } Custom ServiceHost class MyServiceHostFactory : System.ServiceModel.Activation.ServiceHostFactory { protected override ServiceHostCreateServiceHost( Type serviceType, Uri[] baseAddresses) { return new MyServiceHost(serviceType, baseAddresses); } } Custom ServiceHostFactory <%@ ServiceHost Language="C#" Debug="true" Service="MediaService" Factory="MyServiceHostFactory" %> .svc file

  13. Bindings - Problems • My WCF service is slow, what is happening? • I want to use HTTP but not necessarily angle brackets (aka ‚XML‘) • How can I choose from the best communication options?

  14. Bindings – Solutions I • Beware of using the wrong bindings • e.g. Visual Studio WCF wizards use WsHttpBinding(heavy with message security & session-based) • only use features you really need • Think about the real need for session-bound channels/bindings • sessions change the game of fault and error handling • use sessions when you need session semantics in your service • But: sessions can give performance improvements • e.g. security token hand-shake happens only once with SecureConversation

  15. Bindings – Solutions II • Custom bindings will save your day • e.g. binary over HTTP often a good trade-off for WCF-to-WCF communication scenarios • build custom binding in config or code • Create user-defined binding for easier re-usage • bake common custom binding setups into re-usable code and config implementations

  16. Bindings - Samples <extensions> <bindingExtensions> <add name="netHttpBinding" type="NetHttpBindingCollectionElement, Thinktecture.ServiceModel, Version=…" /> </bindingExtensions> </extensions> <bindings> <netHttpBinding> <binding name="unsecureNetHttp" securityMode="None" /> </netHttpBinding> <customBinding> <binding name="binaryHttp"> <binaryMessageEncoding /> <httpTransport /> </binding> </customBinding> </bindings> public class NetHttpBinding : System.ServiceModels.Channels.Binding, ISecurityCapabilities { HttpTransportBindingElementhttpTransport; HttpsTransportBindingElementhttpsTransport; BinaryMessageEncodingBindingElementbinaryEncoding; NetHttpSecurityModesecurityMode; ... } app/web.config User-defined binding

  17. Quotas & Throttles - Problems • Beyond Hello World, all my services and consumers fail with strange exceptions • My services do not perform the way they are supposed to • How can I teach WCF to be less ‘conservative’ in closed Intranet environments?

  18. Quotas & Throttles - Solutions • Bindings • adjust buffers, connection limits, timeouts • Behaviors • configure throttling service behavior • Serializers • check maximum items in object graph value • Custom ChannelFactoryand ServiceHost can automate all this • e.g. through profiles Defaults not true! SvcConfigEditor

  19. Quotas & Throttles - Samples <bindings> <webHttpBinding> <binding name="rawStreamingWeb" transferMode="StreamedResponse"> <readerQuotasmaxArrayLength="999999999"/> </binding> </webHttpBinding> <customBinding> <binding name="httpStreaming" sendTimeout="Infinite"> <binaryMessageEncoding /> <httpTransporttransferMode="Streamed" /> </binding> </customBinding> <bindings> <behaviors> <serviceBehaviors> <behavior name="MyServiceBehavior"> <serviceThrottlingmaxConcurrentCalls="1500" maxConcurrentInstances="1500" maxConcurrentSessions="1500" /> </behavior> </serviceBehaviors> </behaviors> app/web.config app/web.config Consuming code

  20. WSDL - Problems • Some non-WCF consumers cannot understand the WSDL WCF produces • My WSDL contains the wrong host name

  21. WSDL – Solutions • Use custom extension to flatten WSDL into one file • need to use same namespace values forServiceContract, ServiceBehavior, BindingNamespace • eliminates wsdl:import and xsd:import • Register hostheaders in IIS toreflectnamesinto WSDL • for HTTP and HTTPS • Specify different URIs forlisteningandexposing in WSDL <endpointaddress="https://www.tt.com/TheUriIWantInWSDL" listenUri="http://localhost/TheActualUriServiceListensToOnThisBox" ...> • Considerexposing a static WSDL whichdocumentsyourpublishedinterfaceversion

  22. WSDL - Samples <%@ ServiceHost Language= "C#" Service="ProductCatalog" Factory="Thinktecture.ServiceModel.Activation.FlatWsdlServiceHostFactory" %> .svc file applicationHost.config (IIS7) <bindings> <binding protocol="http”bindingInformation="*:80:www.thinktecture.com" /> <binding protocol="https" bindingInformation="*:443:www.thinktecture.com" /> </bindings>

  23. Large Data - Problems • My service eats a lot of memory and chokes the CPU when sending/receiving large data • Bigger messages are making my communication really slow • I have arbitrary, non-structured data to transfer

  24. Large Data – Solutions I • WCF supports MTOM for encoding binary data • MTOM especially useful for interop • Chunking channels available as SDK & community samples • enables sending chunks of data instead of one single piece • transparently works with different transports as a binding element

  25. Large Data – Solutions II • Consider using streaming for transfering abitrary data • requires certain contract shape • Stream • Message • Stream as single body in MessageContract • works over any transport besides MSMQ • works with transport and mixed-mode security • still watch out for quotas • powerful with web programming model

  26. Large Data - Samples [ServiceContract] public interface IVideoPlayer { [OperationContract] [WebGet(UriTemplate = "videos/{videoID}")] [WebContentType(MimeType = "video/x-ms-wmv")] Stream Play(string videoID); } Service contract Host WebServiceHostwebHost = new WebServiceHost( typeof(VideoPlayerService)); WebHttpBinding binding = new WebHttpBinding(); binding.TransferMode = TransferMode.Streamed; webHost.AddServiceEndpoint( typeof(IVideoPlayer), binding, "http://localhost:7777/Services/player"); Client

  27. Performance/Throughput - Problems • Somehow my entire WCF-based application is ‚slow‘ • Hosting my WCF service in IIS seems not to perform well under high load • I cannot seem to get a high throughput when clients talk to my service via HTTP • All that data is being transferred again and again, it makes my system slow

  28. Performance/Throughput – Solutions • Configuring throttling can heal a lot (look there!) • .NET 3.5 SP1 provides asynchronous HTTP module & handler for hosting WCF in IIS for better behavior • Client-side HTTP communication is limited to 2 concurrent connections to a server • configurable through System.Net • Cache, cache, cache! • try to use caching intensively (but wisely) to save unnecessary round-trips

  29. Performance/Throughput - Samples <system.net> <connectionManagement> <add address="*" maxconnection="20"/> </connectionManagement> </system.net> app/web.config public List<Episode> ListEpisodes() {IDataCache cache = DataCacheFactory.CreateInstance(); List<Episode> episodes = cache.Get<List<Episode>>(CacheConstants.AllEpisodes); if (episodes == null) { varepisodeList = mediaLogic.ListAllEpisodes(); episodes = EpisodeDataMapper.MapAllEpisodes(episodeList); cache.Add(CacheConstants.AllEpisodes, episodes); } return episodes; } public interface IDataCache { void Add(string key, object cacheItem); TCacheItem Get<TCacheItem>(string key); void Remove(string key); } E.g. service facade Caching lib

  30. Special Case: Tracing • Use it! It can save your…  • If things go wrong and you have no clue why: trace! • But do not overuse it when in production • wrong usage can mean severe overhead • Configured via config file • can be manipulated via code, but only through WMI • Did I already say tracing can save your …?

  31. Tracing - Sample <system.diagnostics> <sources> <sourcename="System.ServiceModel" switchValue="Warning" propagateActivity="true"> <listeners> <add type="System.Diagnostics.DefaultTraceListener" name="Default" /> <addname="ServiceModelTraceListener" /> </listeners> </source> </sources> <sharedListeners> <addinitializeData=„MyService_Trace.svclog" type="System.Diagnostics.XmlWriterTraceListener, …" name="ServiceModelTraceListener" traceOutputOptions="Timestamp" /> </sharedListeners> <traceautoflush="true" /> </system.diagnostics> PS script $ms = get-wmiobject -class "AppDomainInfo" -namespace "root\servicemodel" -computername "." | where {$_.Name -eq "MyWCFHost.exe"} $ms.TraceLevel = "Warning, ActivityTracing" $ms.Put() app/web.config <system.serviceModel> <diagnosticswmiProviderEnabled="true"/> … app/web.config

  32. Resources • Avoiding problems with the using statement • http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa355056.aspx • Custom encoders • http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms751486.aspx • http://blogs.msdn.com/drnick/archive/2006/05/16/598420.aspx • Tracing • http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms732023.aspx • http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa751795.aspx • http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms733025.aspx • http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa751917.aspx

  33. Resources • Setting up IIS SSL hostheaders • http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/WindowsServer2003/Library/IIS/596b9108-b1a7-494d-885d-f8941b07554c.mspx • http://blogs.iis.net/thomad/archive/2008/01/25/ssl-certificates-on-sites-with-host-headers.aspx • baseAddressPrefixFilter • http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb924492.aspx • Chunkingchannel • http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/WCFResources/Release/ProjectReleases.aspx?ReleaseId=1546

  34. Resources • Asynchronous WCF HTTP Module/Handler for IIS7 for Better Server Scalability • http://blogs.msdn.com/wenlong/archive/2008/08/13/orcas-sp1-improvement-asynchronous-wcf-http-module-handler-for-iis7-for-better-server-scalability.aspx • WCF bindings & more • http://www.noemax.com

  35. Resources • We have code solutions for some WCF problems, for free of course • Thinktecture.ServiceModel •  Email Christian Weyer • christian.weyer@thinktecture.com • Weblog Christian Weyer • http://blogs.thinktecture.com/cweyer • thinktecture • http://www.thinktecture.com

  36. { } In-depth support and consulting for software architects and developers http://www.thinktecture.com/ christian.weyer@thinktecture.com http://blogs.thinktecture.com/cweyer/

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